BUSINESS

Grocer Albertsons Cos., parent of Vons, plans public stock offering

Albertsons Cos., the nation's second-largest grocery store operator whose holdings also include the Vons and Safeway chains, Wednesday disclosed plans for a public stock offering.

Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons is privately owned by an investor group led by Cerberus Capital Management, which bought Albertsons in 2013 and added the Safeway and Vons chains early this year.

In a preliminary prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Albertsons said it planned to raise $100 million, although that amount could grow as the company gets closer to the sale.

The filing did not specify the number of shares to be offered or the estimated per-share price.

Albertsons owns 2,205 locations in 33 states and the District of Columbia, including Vons, Pavilions, Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Tom Thumb and Randalls, among others. The company has 265,000 employees.

California is by far Albertsons' largest market, with 584 locations.

The largest U.S. grocery-store operator is Kroger Co., whose holdings include the Ralphs chain. Kroger has 2,626 properties in 34 states.

In its prospectus, Albertsons said that on a pro-forma basis -- that is, to include the performance of the Safeway properties -- Albertsons would have had $57.5 billion in sales for its fiscal year ended Feb. 28.

Albertsons said it planned to use proceeds from the stock offering to reduce debt and for general corporate purposes. The company also said its growth could include opening new stores and additional acquisitions.

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